QS Study

The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is found in the arachnoid spaces of the brain and cord. It acts as a cushion or buffer for the brain, providing basic mechanical and immunological protection to the brain inside the skull. The CSF is contained within a system of fluid-filled cavities called ventricles.

Clinical anatomy of cerebrospinal fluid –

The examination of the cerebrospinal fluid is of great diagnostic aid in differentiating certain types of nervous and mental diseases.

Drainage of CSF at regular intervals is of therapeutic value in meningitis. In an adult, the overall volume of CSF is about 150 ml, out of which only 30 ml is in the ventricular system and the rest in the subarachnoid space. The walls of these spaces are formed by the inner portion of the arachnoid and outer part of the pia. Certain intractable headaches of unknown etiology are also known to have been cured by a mere lumbar puncture with drainage of CSF.

Clinical anatomy of Cerebrospinal Fluid 1

Fig: Flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)

The CSF is very helpful for clinical diagnosis, and samples are typically obtained from the subarachnoid space by passing a needle in the interval between the third and fourth lumbar vertebrae or placing a needle into the cerebellomedullary cistern. It is also probable that the fluid of the ventricles comes into contact with subarachnoid spaces. When the CSF pressure is greater than the venous pressure, CSF will flow into the bloodstream. If the CSF accumulates in the subarachnoid space, the illness is known as external (communicating) hydrocephalus, as there isn’t any obstruction inside or to the outflow from the ventricular system. The CSF pressure, measured at lumbar puncture (LP), is 100-180 mm of H2O (8-15 mm Hg) with the patient lying on the side and 200-300 mm with the patient sitting up.

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